Thursday 6 October 2016

She's not been swallowed by a troll after all

Jane's level of imagination is astonishing to me. Her pre-school teacher says she's the 'role play queen' at nursery. Having had two autistic boys who both still struggle to use their imagination, it's been great to expose them to her play.  In this kind of way, Jane's play is the marvel and breath of fresh air when it comes to games in the home... sometimes.

Whilst I was busy emptying the dishwasher (ok, very slowly emptying the dishwasher and mostly making a cup of tea), Jane was very busy in the kitchen cupboards too.  She was packing a bag.. for camping.  And it was important that she got everything she needed safely into her bag so that, 'it doesn't fall off the boat'.  Whatever she's playing it sounds adventurous I thought. And goodness knows what she will need that egg cup for?  Off she trundles with the bag as I continue (start) to empty the dishwasher.

A few minutes later she appears, "I'm in a troll" she playfully screams.

Fair enough.  Why not.

"It's ok, it's ok... come see mama."

Just beyond the doorway, Jane's bag of bits has spilled onto the floor.... or is it into the troll's tummy or into the sea? I wasn't sure and not wanting to get it wrong just waited while Jane explained.

"It's all out, but it's ok, I'm in a troll.  I'm going to decide what to do and sort it out."

I'm sorry, did I just walk out of the kitchen and into a board meeting? She's 'in control'.


The boys learning from Jane eh.. look what Jane has learned from my eldest autistic son.

Anthony often struggles with life because he is confused by what's happening or overwhelmed by information. And it can be the same with play.  Following Jane's imagination is difficult even for a seasoned pro like.  Her play requires Anthony to take a lot of information on board at the same time and whilst he's trying to figure out what's logical in a game of  'camping in a boat' he's somehow got to follow the task he's been given in the play too.

What helps him is being able to control the situation and make decisions too.  This is why David likes playing on an iPad, it's predictable and safe. We try and help the kids take turns in this kind of play so that each gets time to adjust and play the game in a way that's comfortable for them while being exposed to what the other is doing. Whilst I was busy thinking Anthony could be learning about Jane's stories, Jane has been busy learning from Anthony. Anthony has been the teacher this time.

She's picked up about 'being in control'.  She's understood that it's about making decisions and then acting upon them. I'm in awe of her really, perhaps we have a power woman in the family after all. A potential glass ceiling breaker. And if later it turns out that Jane's on the spectrum, as genetics means she could be, then least she understands this already.

Despite Jane appearing to be neurotypical, she and I attend a weekly playgroup for families with disabled children.  We used to go there with her brothers and now I go along to talk to other mums and let Jane play too.  Because I think there is value in playing with all children, including the disabled children at the playgroup.  So maybe I shouldn't be so surprised that Jane has early on learned to be 'in control' from her big brother.  Given Jane's imagination being 'in a troll' may come along sometimes soon anyway.

Jane and I attend Me Too & Co play sessions 

This post supports the Makaton Charity #wetalkmakaton sign of the week

Linked to:
#TwinklyTuesday from Mumma Scribbles and #ftmob with Little Hearts Big Love


  1. What a wonderful imagination she has. The playgroup sounds like a wonderful place to visit for all of you. #WotW

  2. I just love watching and listening to children's imagination and where it can take them! Love that she needed her bag of goodies but you're right, why the egg cup?!
    It's great that she can teach her older brothers a thing or two, that in itself is her being in her 'Troll'
    Have a lovely wkend

  3. It's amazing how much kids can learn from each other, isn't it, and it's not always what you think. Imaginary play is a favourite of mine to watch as it's a wonderful insight into their worlds and it does sound like Jane's learned from her brother. Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  4. I love how there is no limit to a childs imagination, everything is so magical.
    It's fab how her way of play helps to encourage her brother to join in and interact too.
    I hope you all have a fab weekend!

    Thanks for being part of #MMBC. Hope you can make it next week x

  5. Imagination is wonderful isn't it. It's been so wonderful to watch it develop as my daughter gets older, and how much it has changed since she stared to go to nursery and mix with other older children. #WotW

  6. Oh there is nothing more wonderful than a Childs imagination, at its wonderful hoe they help each other x

  7. I relly enjoy learning about your children- truly.


  8. Oh sounds a fantastic and well planned little girl! I love how siblings learn from each other, precious. We all have something to teach others 😊 #wotw

  9. What a brilliant imagination she has & I love that she's learned from her siblings too...just fantastic. Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam Hope to see you again next week x

  10. I'm amazed already by what my 5 month old daughter does and look forward to seeing how she and her brother learn to play together.
    I used to have a similar imagination as your daughter, I miss that magic escapism!

  11. My son has gained so much from his step-siblings and I believe they have learnt too. Together we make a family :-) #SpectrumSunday

  12. What a lovely post. Sounds like she'll go far!

  13. I love "in a troll" for "in control" - sounds like she has definitely been learning from her big brother on this one. So lovely to see how children interpret the world through their role-play :-)

  14. I had to read it twice to get the troll comment, I got there in the end lol It's so funny the things they pick up, Little E is doing the same with her brother. She copy's his stimm singing to a tee, well at least we hope that is what it is ;0) I really hope we get to enter this world of imagination

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

  15. This brought back lots of memories - it's a long time since mine played like this together. You get such an insight onto who they are and how their minds work when you watch them at play. Your daughter sounds like a wonderful little power house - good for her! #SpectrumSunday

  16. My youngest has the biggest imagination which is such a change from her older siblings who are both on the spectrum. I love it when they interact and find a way to play together - it's wonderful to see!

  17. That's so lovely, children can learn from each other whether they are disabled or not. My two daughters definitely grow just from having Jude as their brother. I think it's wonderful you still attend the playgroup with your daughter, what a rounded and accepting individual she will grow up to be xx


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